In one report, a caption citing Russia with the words “Ukrainians put on a good show” appears over very blurry images of the Ukrainian city.
Separately, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said Tuesday that Bucha’s shocking footage showed “all the signs” that civilians were “directly targeted and killed.” On Tuesday, UN chief António Guterres joined growing international calls for a war crimes investigation into the killing of civilians in the city.
This was shown in an editorial published in the nationalist Global Times tabloid on Wednesday, which appeared to question the veracity of what it called, in quotes, the “Bucha incident” and absolved Russia of responsibility.
“It is unfortunate that after the exposure of the ‘Bucha incident’, the United States, the initiator of the Ukraine crisis, has not shown any signs of urging peace and promoting talks, but is ready to exacerbate tensions between Russia and Ukraine,” he said. the publisher said.
“No matter how the ‘Bucha incident’ happened, no one can deny at least one thing: the war itself is the main culprit of the humanitarian disaster,” he added.
a common enemy
Rising tensions with the US have brought Moscow and Beijing closer together in recent years, with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping declaring that their countries’ partnership had “no limits” only a few weeks. weeks before the Russian invasion.
At a special session of the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday, Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun acknowledged that the images of civilian deaths in Bucha were “deeply disturbing”, but when it came to assigning blame for the situation , urged “all parties” to “exercise restraint”. and avoid unfounded accusations”.
“The relevant circumstances and specific causes of the incident must be verified and established. Any accusation must be based on facts,” Zhang said.
Similar comments were made by Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin at a regular briefing on Wednesday, who said “humanitarian issues should not be politicized.”
“All parties should exercise restraint and avoid baseless accusations” before the investigation of the facts is concluded, Wang said, adding that China “is willing to continue to work together with the international community to prevent harm to civilians.”
But at home, China has been sending a more direct message, one that ties in with a longer history of mutually reinforcing Russian and Chinese state media, on topics such as the treatment of Russian dissidents, pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and the origins of Covid-19, as they seek to refute characterizations by Western officials and media.
In an example of such an overlap on Tuesday, the state-run China News Service published a post on the popular Twitter-like social media platform Weibo with the hashtag: “Russia shows video to prove Bucha incident is staged.” “, referring to a report by a Russian state news agency.
But even as China amplifies Russian rhetoric in its reports at home, some public displays of skepticism can be seen, including on China’s highly moderated social media platforms.
In a recent example, a widely followed military blogger wrote on Sunday that the Ukrainians were responsible for a “massacre” of civilians, but several users in the comments below suggested the details of the post were wrong.